blog adversity frameThose who follow me on social media will know that I took a bit of a tumble as I was setting up my exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show  and landed myself in hospital. I fell hard onto my hands, breaking bones in one wrist and seriously injuring the other. 

A very emotional few days followed as it started to sink in that nursery work and exhibiting  were  going to be something of a challenge with both wrists strapped up. 

Meanwhile, back at Chelsea, my stand was being finished off by some big-hearted exhibitors  in the Grand Pavilion.  Even Carol Klein stopped by to help put together the Hare Spring Cottage Plants display I had been planning for more than a year. I must say a huge thank you to all the warm and generous folk who made sure my stand was there at Chelsea in all its glory, even if I wasn’t.  A particular thank you must go to Richard and Vicky Fox from Plantagogo who really did go the extra mile for me and Georgia, a Kew Gardens Student.  Thank you also to Helen Boem of the RHS and for Plant Heritage Volunteers for sorting out some logistical difficulties on the showground. 

As thousands of visitors flocked to the Chelsea Flower Show, I left hospital in London and returned to Yorkshire to recuperate feeling exhausted, sore and heartbroken. Whoever heard of a Nurserywoman without the use of her hands? What about all those RHS shows I had lined up and all those Camassia and hardy plants yearning for my attention out on the nursery? 

It’s at times like this that the support of wonderful friends and family really makes a difference. With everyone rallying round to help I’ve been able to pick myself up and dust myself off and get on with things, which is just how I like to be.  Special thanks must go to my  husband Malcolm for his unfailing support and encouragement as well as Joanne who works with me on the nursery.

Incredibly – and thanks to all the help and encouragement around me - I’m heading off to RHS Chatsworth this weekend.  The fact that both my hands are still strapped up isn’t going to stop me getting out there and doing what I love best, which is talking to fellow gardeners about their own gardens and sharing my passion for hardy plants. 

If you’re there this weekend please come and say hello!

You’ll find us at Stand 109A in the Floral Marquee.

Happy Gardening!

Stella Exley


Hardy Plants Grown In North Yorkshire